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Journalism verses Propaganda

July 20, 2012

CBS News reported that the bullets from the AR-15 rifle used in the Aurora movie theater massacre are so powerful that they “shot through walls” during the shooting spree. The media has continued the “powerful caliber” lie for so long, they along with most people lacking critical thinking skills, believe it. Most bullets will penetrate through walls.

This “powerful” weapon though, is not lawfully allowed for big game hunting in the same state as the shooting. The Colorado Division of Wildlife forbids using this caliber for taking big game. Not because to is “too powerful”, but because it is not big enough to ensure a humane kill while hunting. It can only be used for small game such as prairie dogs, coyote, bobcats and skunks.

Page 12, paragraph 1 of The Colorado Division of Wildlife Big Game Brochure reads:

Legal Hunting Methods: Centerfire Rifles
a. Must be minimum of .24 caliber (6 mm).
b. Must have a minimum 16-inch barrel and be at least 26 inches long.
c. If semiautomatic, they can hold a maximum of six rounds in the magazine and chamber combined.
d. Must use expanding bullets that weigh minimum 70 grains for deer, pronghorn and bear, 85 grains for elk and moose, and have an impact
energy (at 100 yards) of 1,000-ft. pounds as rated by manufacturer.

The majority of commercially available ammunition for the .223 Remington cartridge come in two versions, 55 grain and 62 grain bullets. (Those of you who do not know what this means, it’s the weight of the bullet. There are 7000 grains per pound.) Federal Cartridge Company lists the bullet energy at 100 yards of these as 1008 ft-lbs and 1013 ft-lbs respectfully. These barely make the minimum legal energy, but they make it none the less. But since they are only .22 caliber, they do not meet the minimum bullet diameter of .24 caliber. By comparison, the 30.06 cartridge, which for over 75 years has been used as the “yard stick” against which all other cartridges are measured, is .30 caliber and has 2500 ft-lbs of energy at 100 yards.

Even the military, which currently uses a more powerful version this cartridge (5.56 Nato), is not pleased with its battlefield performance. Since the 1993 Blackhawk Down battle in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, both the Army and Marine Corps have been considering procuring a replacement for the M-16 / 5.56mm combination because of its lack of “stopping power”.

Shootings like the one that happened in Colorado are truly unfortunate and I wish that they would never happen. But adding insult to injury by either deliberate means or mere ignorance through the reporting of improper information and made up “facts” by the news media is just as uncalled for and irresponsible for people who call themselves journalists.

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